Comparison of Changed Practices Towards Accountability

News | Good Governance | Publications | Analysis 16 December 2015

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The Statistics of Public Information Received in 2015


On 8 297 requests sent to 307 public institutions, IDFI received 3 961 complete responses, 438 incomplete responses, and 63 refusals. 1 175 requests were left unanswered and in 2 660 cases, the institutions stated that they had not conducted specific activities, or did not have requested information.


The responses indicating that no specific activities were conducted or that the institution did not have the information, is neither included in the indicators in the diagram below, nor in the indicator on the access to information. Therefore, in case of 307 agencies the data represent replies to 5637 FOI requests sent by the Institute.


According to the categories of public institutions, the biggest share of unanswered requests falls on state LTDs and N(N)LEs. During the reporting period, IDFI sent 28 such requests in total. Out of 28 requests, 24 were left unanswered and in two cases, the Institute received refusal note on the requested information.


Responses Received on FOI Requests with Standard Content


As it is mentioned above, various kinds of FOI requests were sent to the public institutions within the scopes of the project, among them were the FOI requests with standard content prepared by IDFI.


From 5 637 Freedom of Information requests 4 992 are the FOI requests of standard content, from which complete responses were provided to 3 581 requests. Incomplete responses were provided in 377 cases, 51 requests were rejected while 983 FOI requests were left unanswered.

 

The most problematic FOI requests in 2015:

  • Legal acts and explanatory notes on the bonuses and salary supplements given to public officials (Refusal 10.7%)
  • CV of the appointed and dismissed public officials (Refusal 9.6%)
  • E-correspondence on simplified purchases (Refusal 7.1%)

 


Responses Received on Non-Standard FOI Requests


Within the scopes of the project, requests with different content were also sent to the public institutions. These FOI requests concerned the topics of high public interest or were sent due to citizen requests.


In total, 645 such requests were sent to the public institutions, from which complete answers were received on 380, incomplete answers were provided on 61 requests, 12 FOIs were rejected while 192 were left unanswered.


Timeframe Compliance


Within the framework of the project, out of 8 297 FOI requests sent to public institutions, IDFI obtained responses in 187 cases within 10 day-period. Including the unanswered requests, 10 day-period regulation was violated in 2 110 cases.


Assuming that public information is instantly issued if applicant receives the information in 3 days, then responses instantly issued by the central public institutions amounted to 932 cases. The number of applications on which 10 day-period was requested and the information was provided in this period, amounts to 1 587. Regarding the public institutions, 10 day period was requested in 206 cases, however, information was either left unanswered or provided with timeframe violation. In 3 668 cases, 10 day period was not requested, however information was provided from 4 to 10 days, while in case of 1 904 FOI requests, period approved by the law was violated without request of 10 day period.


Changed Attitudes towards Accountability


IDFI will provide the changing practices of different institutions of making public information available after October 2012. In order to make the changed practices perceivable, we will show different documentation provided for the same requests by the same institutions throughout the years.


For instance, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development provided detailed information about official visits of each public official at the initial stage of political changes, on December 27th, 2012. However, in reply to the same request sent on February 12th, 2014 incomplete information (only summed up data) was provided. As for the identical request sent on March 10th, 2015, it was left without a reply.


On February 7th, 2013 the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development provided IDFI with detailed information about bonuses of each public official. In 2014 the reply to this request was only received upon submitting administrative appeal, and even then, the provided information was incomplete (only summed up data). In 2015, similar to the previous project, the information about bonuses was provided incompletely and only after submission of administrative appeal.


After the elections in October 2012 the approach of the Ministry of Finance towards disclosure of public information was also changed once again. For instance, on December 25th 2012 the Ministry provided detailed information about the bonuses. In 2013-2014 the Ministry avoided providing detailed information about bonuses and salary supplements and only released summed up, incomplete data. However, the Ministry provided detailed information about bonuses and salary supplements in 2015.

 

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